Report: Theo Epstein “actively looking” to hire GM in order to become Cubs’ president

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Many were surprised when SI’s Jon Heyman reported earlier today that the Cubs were interested in hiring Padres general manager Jed Hoyer. Now it makes a lot of sense.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Theo Epstein is “actively looking” to hire a general manager, a move that would enable him to become the Cubs’ president of baseball operations.

It’s unclear whether Hoyer would want to join Epstein in Chicago or whether San Diego would grant him permission to leave. Hoyer, who worked with the Red Sox for eight years before being hired as Padres GM in October of 2009, is under contract through 2013 with a club option for 2014. The Cubs are still negotiating compensation with the Red Sox for Epstein, but it’s possible they could find themselves in another compensation situation with San Diego.

One interesting twist is that the Padres have a potential in-house replacement for Hoyer in the form of Josh Byrnes. He served as vice president of baseball operations this season and formerly worked as Diamondbacks GM under Jeff Moorad, who is now the majority owner of the Padres.

Of course, Byrnes has also been mentioned as a possible assistant to Epstein in Chicago, so this could go any number of directions in the coming days.